Saturday, September 6, 2014

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

original here

Make in a blender, pour it into 5 or 6 glass 12 oz bottles (with screw caps), and carry one every day in your purse. It's a serving of vegetables I can eat on the run, without utensils. Otherwise, I'd eat croissants. I get so hungry.

You probably don't need a recipe, but sometimes I do. The most basic gazpacho is a bag of tomatoes, a cucumber, some vinegar (red is traditional but they're all fine), some salt, some garlic, and some almonds or oil. You cannot lose. Also traditional: a red bell pepper and a piece of stale bread. I always add some Tabasco-ish sauce or a jalepeno. If you have a good blender, chop nothing and peel nothing (besides trimming off any woody stems).

There's a lot of soluble fiber in this so you might want to re-blender it after a few days (if you're serving it to somebody else).

OK--this is a fancy yellow version from a West Hollywood chef. I've never even tried the fancy steps (like blanching and peeling the tomatoes, peeling the cucumbers, or straining the soup--or measuring) and you cannot go wrong.

  1. 2 1/2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes 
  2. 3 Persian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber
  3. 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and cut in half
  4. 4 cilantro sprigs, plus 12 cilantro leaves
  5. 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  7. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. 3 tablespoons diced red or orange sweet pepper
  10. 3 tablespoons diced red onion
  11. 18 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  12. Super-good extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  13. Blanch the yellow tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Use your fingers to slip off their skins. Remove the cores and coarsely chop the tomatoes, saving all of the juice. Reserve the ice water.
  14. Seed and dice 3 tablespoons of unpeeled cucumber, as prettily as you can manage, for the garnish. Peel and coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers.
  15. Place half of the yellow tomatoes, the coarsely chopped cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, garlic, vinegar and olive oil in a blender with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and some pepper. Process at the lowest speed until broken down. Turn the speed up to high and puree until the soup is completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little of the reserved ice water. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Taste for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the soup ingredients. Chill the soup in the refrigerator until it's very cold.
  16. Toss the diced sweet pepper, onion and cucumber together in a small bowl. Pour the gazpacho into 6 chilled soup bowls and scatter the pepper mixture over the soup. Season the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper and place 6 cherry tomato halves and 2 cilantro leaves at the center of each bowl. Finish each soup with a drizzle of super-good olive oil. To serve family-style, place the soup in a chilled tureen or pretty pitcher and garnish with the cherry tomato halves and cilantro; pass the diced vegetables on the side.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chocolate Mint Vegetable Popsicles

This fills one set of 6 Tovolo ice pop molds. Last summer, these were the major source of vegetables in my diet

Magic Mint Chocolate Smoothie

1 cup milk of choice
1 cup mild leaves, such as spinach
1 cup chopped vegetables
1 frozen banana
6-10 drops stevia
10-15 drops peppermint extract (use less if using peppermint oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbs cocoa powder
3/4 cup ice cubes

Blend on high until smooth.

You can use almost any mild vegetable:
beet greens
broccoli stalks
cauliflower (stalks and head)
mild mushrooms (these add a strong flavor, try only a tiny bit at a time)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Antonia's Kale Chips (cheesy style)

my friend Antonia came up with this, I think by reverse-engineering an ingredients list. The interesting thing about this recipe is that it ends up tasting like it's coated in parmesan cheese and pizza sauce! (it's not.) Unami mystery. Anyway, try it--it tastes better than you'd expect

1 c sunflower seeds
2 scallions
1 TB miso (or more)
1 red bell pepper
just enough water to make the blender spin

Make sure the kale has been washed and dried. If kale is wet it will take much longer to cook the chips.

Put everything else in the blender and blend away.

Put the kale in a bowl and coat the kale.

Oil some cookie sheets (or use silpats, or parchment paper). Spread the kale out on cookie sheets and bake until completely crisp and dry.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Balsamic Bean Dip with Fresh Veggies

I love taste tests. They are in my top favorite modes of eating--up there with holidays. I'd started to get into making hummus myself, and so some friends and I did a massive homemade hummus taste test. We killed ourselves doing it right. We narrowed our choices down to about 15 different recipes and made them all exactly as they were written, and some of them included steps that were really tedious.
As a freebie at the end, I added this one. I didn't think it would be anything terrific, but it was so easy. Blend a can of beans with some vinegar? Sure.

Well, imagine our horror when this humble recipe tested just as well or better than all the flavors and varieties of hummus we'd been working so hard to make. The outrage! It was so good and so easy. It requires 1 minute of prep, 1 minute of washing the dishes. I was so irritated to think how much time I'd wasted trying to track down the best brand of tahini, or hand-peeling the chickpeas, etc. I've never bothered to make hummus again.

1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling
Oil from jar of sun-dried tomatoes [or not]
Assorted crudités

Puree beans, olive oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with tomato oil and a few drops of vinegar. Serve with crudités.

Three-Bean Salad

Another excuse to eat cumin.
I tend to keep ingredients like these in the pantry or in the freezer, so I can reload my lunch containers without much more effort than it takes to open a few cans and stir. Epicurious.

1 15-ounce can yellow hominy, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup drained canned kidney beans, rinsed
1 cup drained pinto beans, rinsed
4 large tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped red onion
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
(Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Serves 6.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

If you normally find quinoa repellent, try this cooking method. It produces a dry, fluffy version that's much more appetizing. Thanks again epicurious! Keeps well (pre-portioned in the fridge).

The secret of the success of this salad is the steaming of the quinoa. (The tradional cooking method for quinoa, boiling it in a measured amount of water, does not produce the light, fluffy texture that works so well in a salad.) This dish provides a complete protein and can stand alone as a luncheon or light supper entrée.
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
For dressing
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander and toss well.

Make dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.


July 1994

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

My friend Keila taught me to make this--she's from Mexico City. It tastes complicated even though it's embarrassingly easy. I put it in green salads now, but it's also for rolling up in flautas or on tostadas, etc.

4-6 chicken breasts
chopped yellow onions
chopped tomatoes
1 can of chipotles
salt, to taste

Boil boneless chicken breasts in water with a little piece of onion. After cooked, remove from water and shred.

Caramelize onions and saute chopped tomatoes in a little oil with a sprinkling of salt.

Let cook for about 10 minutes (until tender).

Add chicken to mixture with 1 small can chipotles (or ½ can, or 1/4 can). Let cook until flavors meld, about 10 minutes.